At Dignity Health Central Coast, our doctors and health care providers want to safeguard you and your baby from any risks or complications from pregnancy and prenatal care to labor and delivery. While no cure yet exists for cerebral palsy on the Central Coast, our doctors offer care with humankindness for you, your child, and family.
We understand that this fetal condition covers a group of disorders that can affect your baby’s movement and offer ongoing support with humankindness. Helping you understand the causes of cerebral palsy and the various treatment options can provide you with peace of mind.
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Uncovering Causes of Cerebral Palsy at Dignity Health Central Coast
We don’t always know or completely understand cerebral palsy causes. Sometimes a baby comes into the world with this condition for no known reason.
What we do understand are certain risk factors that increase your chances of having a baby with cerebral palsy, including:
- Lack of oxygen during birth or while your baby is in your womb.
- Toxic substance exposure, including mercury.
- Infections during your pregnancy, including toxoplasmosis, chickenpox, rubella (German measles), and cytomegalovirus (CMV).
- Brain bleeding, or stroke, that your baby may have before birth.
- Gene mutations, although not passed down through your family, can cause cerebral palsy and unusual brain development.
- Traumatic head injury after birth, including a fall or car accident.
Your doctor will help you prevent any known causes for cerebral palsy. Staying healthy goes a long way in protecting your baby from medical complications.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy to Watch for in Your Baby
Your baby may not show signs of cerebral palsy until birth, especially if your baby is born prematurely. Cerebral palsy can affect just one part of your baby’s body or just one side.
Common symptoms of cerebral palsy to watch for include:
- Uncontrollable movements
- A hard time swallowing or speaking
- Muscle stiffness
- Imbalance or poor coordination
- Intellectual difficulties
- Unusual or poor posture
Speak with your Dignity Health Central Coast doctor if you detect any of these cerebral palsy signs in your baby. Together, you can discuss treatment that embraces you and your baby’s physical, mental, and spiritual needs.
Treatment for Cerebral Palsy with Humankindness
Anything you can do during your childrearing years and during pregnancy will help protect your baby from a number of medical conditions. Avoiding chemical exposure, getting regular checkups, and keeping your immunizations up to date are steps for safeguarding you and your baby.
If your Dignity Health Central Coast doctor determines your baby has cerebral palsy, treatments can help relieve discomfort and help your child enjoy a full life.
Treatment options your doctor will review with you include:
- Surgery to relax your child’s stiff muscles or realign joints and bones.
- Medication to relieve stiff muscles so your child can move more easily.
- Occupational, speech, and physical therapy for building strength, developing skills, and learning to best live daily life.
- Assistive devices, including walkers, braces, crutches, and splints, help your child move safely and maintain body posture.
Our doctors, nurses, and other caregivers will help you and your child get the best care and treatments available. To meet with a health care provider who understands you and your child’s unique needs, visit Dignity Health Central Coast. Dignity Health provides personalized care for families and children affected by cerebral palsy on the Central Coast of California.